Japan is crazy, man! I stumbled onto a video of Japanese grown square watermelons a year or so ago; it was so cool, I gave it a try. I thought if it worked, I would sell my square watermelons at the local fall festival. From studying the videos, and pictures of polycarbonate boxes sold online for this purpose, I figured I would need a transparent, sturdy box. Sounded like plexiglass to me. But it would take a sheet thicker than dragon skin to withstand the Xtreme pressure of growing melons. Thicker means costlier. I poured out my woes to my landlord, and he told me of a super cheap plastic supply warehouse that catered to farmers. I was there the next day. They cut enough dragon skin plexiglass scraps for three boxes. If I used expensive metal hinges and screws to fabricate the boxes, they would surely be sturdy, but I wouldn’t be able to sell the watermelons for a profit. So instead I wrapped the boxes with packing tape and wire and hoped they would stay together. Each box cost about $8 to make, and held about 3 gallons–plenty of room for growth. I gently enclosed my baby watermelons in them and waited. Week after week, the watermelons grew, and I watched with excited eyes. But as harvest time drew closer, their growth stunted. I watered them. They rolled over and laughed. I cajoled them. They turned a deaf leaf to me. By the end of the summer, they didn’t come close to filling out the boxes. Only flat on two sides, they looked like a Surrealist painting. What had gone wrong? Looking back, I suppose that making a box big enough to park a car in was a mistake. And possibly growing “Mighty Midget” Moon and Stars heirloom watermelons. Next time, I’m growing those Supa-giant, crush-your-kid-if-you-drop-it-on-them striped watermelons you can buy at the grocery store. And those boxes WILL be filled to the brim with watermelon. I hope.